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On View: The Sampler Collection of Alexandra Peters

Girls Stitching History: Astonishing Stories Told by Samplers 1700 – 1850

Before adding a sampler to her collection, Sharon, CT resident Alexandra Peters researched the lives of the sampler makers and the world revealed by their needlework. The girls in this collection were touched by abolition, the Underground Railroad, and the anti-slavery movement. A few girls settled the Connecticut Western Reserve, others were educated at the three exceptional academies for girls in northwest Connecticut. Quaker girls created elegant darning samplers, and older girls stitched elaborate tales from classical history and literature. Some girls in England sewed world maps. Other girls in the United States documented their family histories, sisters worked companion samplers, and the women of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s family subtly influenced his storytelling with their needlework. Writing with needles, these sampler creators left us a powerful legacy that opens a window into the early education of girls, who their families were, and how they documented their very existence. 

June 18 All day